East Austin Continues to Foster Its Creative Community

This is a recent mural turning up in East Austin, completed by the artist collective Trust Your Hustle. The mural is located on the west wall of longtime blues music venue Victory Grill on E. 11th St. The mural pays homage to Austin’s own soul queen Lavelle White along with other Austin blues music pioneers Johnny Holmes, founder of Victory Grill, and Roosevelt “Grey Ghost” Williams, first musician Holmes booked for the venue. Trust Your Hustle is a touring collective of artists who join forces with local artists all over the country to create murals. …kinda cool that they chose Austin. !

East Austin has longtime been a community playing safe harbor to thriving artists and artist communities by providing low priced real estate, urban “inspiring” spaces, rich culture, and a super convenient distance to downtown and the rest of central Austin. Even with the rapid gentrification of East Austin (and rapidly sky-rocketing real estate prices), many artist communities remain there actively enriching the community with their work.

The East Austin Studio Tour (E.A.S.T.) is a 2 day event occurring each fall, this year scheduled for November 22nd and 23rd. This is a self-directed tour includes over 100 studios and 200 local artists holding open houses to present and sell their work. Free copies of the studio tour map are available at the studios. Bike transportation between the studios is highly encouraged…and by far the most convenient option anyway.

Another East Austin art program is the PUMP Project whose 30-something members work out of a single complex thus providing affordable work space and camaraderie to the artists. Gallery hours are Wednesday to Saturday 1-5.

Many other collective studio spaces are available for rent such as 501 Studios at I-35 and E. 5th Street. If you are looking to buy, there are new construction live/work spaces…but those go fast and there aren’t any currently on the market (although I have heard of a few underway). If you are patient and have cash, there are great resale properties that come (and go) on the market in East Austin that would serve as excellent artist studios.

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